News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

News

April 21, 2012

Rose-Hulman mourns president’s death

‘Visionary’ Branam dies after collapsing in campus office

TERRE HAUTE — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is mourning the loss of its 14th president, Matt Branam, who died Friday after a sudden medical emergency in his office.

He was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and died shortly after his arrival.

William R. Fenoglio, chairman of Rose-Hulman’s board of trustees, stated that the loss “saddens us deeply. Matt Branam was unique and talented; as a graduate of Rose-Hulman, he brought a level of passion for the school that created new energy on our campus.”

He described Branam as a “visionary” who celebrated the college’s achievements and enthusiastically shared them with people throughout Indiana and across the country.

“We all express our deepest condolences to his family,” Fenoglio said.

Details about Rose-Hulman’s interim leadership and memorial services will be forthcoming, he said. The Rose-Hulman board is expected to meet by conference call Monday to make a decision about interim leadership.

Branam, 57, was a Terre Haute native who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rose-Hulman in 1979. He was elected Rose-Hulman’s president in late 2009 after serving five months in an interim role.

“I returned to my alma mater to become president because I could not think of a more vital or important place to be at this moment in American history,” Branam stated recently. He was a strong advocate of science, math and engineering education in solving global issues.

Trenton Tabor, a Rose-Hulman senior, worked with Branam on a number of projects. “He was a mentor to me,” Tabor said. “I learned a great deal from him about trying to lead such a diverse organization as Rose-Hulman” and how to reconcile various groups that had different perspectives.

Branam was “so accessible” to students, Tabor said. “I met often with him about decisions he made and the direction he was going. … He was willing to talk with me and explain what he was doing.”

Tabor, Branam and other students worked together on a fun project just Wednesday, when they put together a video announcement for campus to inform them that Dean Kamen — world-famous inventor and science advocate —  would be the commencement speaker on May 26.

Branam rode a Segway, a two-wheeled electric vehicle invented by Kamen, on campus. “He had a great time,” Tabor said. Branam sent it out on campus email late Thursday night and students were watching it Friday morning, although it was removed after he died.

“It will be a lot of students’ last memory of him,” happily riding around campus talking about the commencement speaker, Tabor said.

In another project, Tabor was in charge of a senior class giving campaign and the goal was to raise $10,000 to support a scholarship. He asked for Branam’s help, and Branam pledged to personally match the amount raised up to $10,000.

Friday was a “very sad day for me,” Tabor said. “I will miss him a great deal and the campus will as well.”

Bill Kline, dean of faculty, said the campus reaction “was one of shock, sadness and loss.”

During his tenure as president, Branam “came in and held us all to a very high standard of performance and excellence.”   

The president “had done an outstanding job” of starting a strategic planning process to establish a vision “for the next great chapter at the institution,” Kline said. The campus is committed to continuing that effort, called “The Great Debate.”

During Branam’s tenure, “There was a sense of pride and energy on campus” and anticipation about the future,” Kline said.

Fenoglio said Branam wanted Rose-Hulman known worldwide for its excellence in engineering, science and math. While he was a “superb leader of the present,” Branam’s most important contribution was his work to define the institute’s future, Fenoglio said.

Accomplishments during Branam’s tenure include the launching of a strategic planning process that so far has involved more than 2,000 alumni, corporate and education leaders, faculty, staff, student and parents. He also presided while Rose-Hulman maintained its No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college ranking of specialized undergraduate engineering institutions.  

His tenure also was marked by several facility improvements including the creation of a collaborative student working environment, the Student Innovation Center, which opened last fall; the construction of a 240-bed LEED-certified residence hall, to be open this fall; the construction on the William Alfred Cook Laboratory for Bioscience Research, now under way; and the remodeling of five state-of-the-art classrooms, opening this fall. He also expanded global awareness and diversity initiatives.

Before becoming Rose-Hulman’s president, Branam had a 24-year career at United Parcel Service (1972-1996) and rose to the position of vice president of public affairs in Washington, D.C.

He also was the first-ever chief operating officer of the American Red Cross, serving at the request of former Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole. During his tenure, the nonprofit organization’s operating revenue grew by 38 percent to $2.5 billion annually.

Branam is survived by three adult children: Clint, Washington, D.C.; Travis, Terre Haute; and Brooke, Alexandria, Va.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News